Government that's fit for the digital age

Objective 12 – Develop sustainable platforms that we can share across government

Objective status
In progress

We are developing sustainable platforms and capabilities across government, with an APS-wide focus on identifying, sharing and sourcing reusable platforms. This means buying, building or developing once and reusing many times. This reorientation of services is founded on having the right approach, the right interconnected platforms and the right processes across government.   Agencies seeking a solution will be able to assess existing government platforms for reuse and bring providers together in a way that encourages local participation, flexibility, collaboration and innovation, to create better value for money and to make it easier for you to use.

444,000+ registered records

More than 440,000 records have been registered by 29,300 active PDMS users, compared to 380,000 in all of 2019.

225% increase in agencies using Notify

There are 370 registered services (227% increase) from 120 agencies (145% increase) across all 3 levels of government using Notify, in both trial and live mode.

Case studies

Parliamentary Document Management System (PDMS)

Initiative

Update the PDMS Ministerial Correspondence process with Automation capability and the capacity to support flexible and remote working arrangements.

Benefits:

  • reduces a government environmental footprint (paper reduction)
  • resourcing and cost efficiencies gained from automation of the manual process required for managing and tracing ministerial correspondence
  • improved response times to the public for ministerial enquiries.

Summary  

The Parliamentary Document Management System (PDMS) is used to store, monitor and manage the flow of parliamentary documents. It is one of the first successful whole-of-government platforms, being actively used by more than 80 agencies. To date, more than 440,000 records have been registered by 29,300 active PDMS users in 2020, compared to 380,000 in all of 2019. Continuous engagement with PDMS users has driven ongoing platform improvements since its launch in 2013. This approach has ensured that PDMS remains fit for purpose and is sustainable into the future.

What was once an email-based, spreadsheet-managed endeavour, taking hundreds of hours to maintain, is now a seamless, traceable and trackable workflow undertaken within PDMS. So far in 2020 alone, agencies have registered and processed over 140,000 pieces of correspondence from the Australian public. PDMS successfully empowers agencies to manage this ever-increasing workload.

The 2020 PDMS addresses 2 of the most significant themes in technology today:

  • the use of mobile devices supporting flexible working arrangements
  • the rise of automation.

Re-designed with its agency users, the PDMS now provides the capability to automate the registration of ministerial correspondence from any existing agency system. It captures, notifies and tracks all letters sent to Ministers or departmental executives. This reduces an agency’s environmental footprint, saves paper and reduces the time staff spend registering correspondence. Staff are free to respond more quickly and more thoroughly to the Australian public.

COVID-19 has forced agencies to move to flexible working arrangements and augment their desktop computers with mobile devices. The 2020 PDMS supports this trend by re-engineering the user interface to be more modern, scalable and intuitive. This empowers APS officers to draft, review, and clear documents on whatever device they are using. Part of the user interface update extends PDMS into Ministers’ offices, providing a holistic portfolio view to Minsters of all their documents and an annotation facility.

Department of Finance

Whole‑of‑Government Architecture

Initiative

The Whole-of-Government Architecture aims to take the government from siloed capabilities to a landscape of connected platforms and services.

Benefits:

  • promote integrated service design to provide a seamless user experience
  • support better investment decisions in government services and technologies
  • foster improved and standardised architecture capability across government.

Summary  

In 2019, the DTA was tasked to develop a Whole-of-Government Architecture, supported by a whole of representative government taskforce. The Government Architecture Design Authority (GADA) was established in 2020 to provide governance for the initiative, and is composed of senior architecture representatives from identified government agencies.

In early 2021, the Taskforce will deliver a draft Government Business Architecture that will provide a holistic Government Business Model supported by architecture, platforms and a framework to drive and facilitate cross-agency services. Key initiatives include:

  • Government Business Model: provides a view of the core capabilities and functions of government (assurance)
  • Platform Enablement: provides the tools to maximise platform re-use and integration opportunities, including ‘Operating Model Standard’ and ‘Platform and Services Catalogue’
  • Integration and Orchestration Blueprint: Provides the range of methods and frameworks to orchestration and integrate cross-agency platforms and services.

The Taskforce will develop the emerging architecture through co-design with a range of inflight projects across government, such as myGov and the Entitlement Calculation Engine. This will ensure the architecture is driven by real world challenges, needs and experience.

Digital Transformation Agency

GovTEAMS

Initiative

Provide an accessible, secure and reliable platform to modernise and enhance the way government employees communicate and collaborate.

Benefits:

  • provides capability for APS staff to maintain productivity while working remotely
  • delivers a mechanism for government to continue to interact and meet, while achieving lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing requirements. 

Summary

GovTEAMS has become a part of the COVID-19 response story and one of the positive legacies in the wake of the pandemic. Originally designed to modernise and enhance the way government employees communicate and collaborate, GovTEAMS quickly became the APS platform of choice for remote workers. This accessible, secure and reliable platform empowered users across government to register, connect, collaborate and create communities in real-time.

GovTEAMS was making traction before the pandemic changed the Government’s ways of working, but the success stories that have emerged since are the most compelling. On 1 July 2019, 19,285 people had registered for GovTEAMS and by the end of June 2020 registrations increased by an impressive 67,685 people to 86,970. From 1 March to 30 June 2020, there were 454,497 community-wide chats, 4,761,034 one-on-one chat messages, 142,004 audio and video calls, and 193,874 meeting attendees.

From connecting remote teams, to nurturing new communities and facilitating leadership engagement and decision making, GovTEAMS is heavily relied on across the entire sector. All departmental Secretaries meet fortnightly for Secretaries Board on Protected GovTEAMS and the Chief Operating Officer Committee meets on the Official: Sensitive platform on a weekly basis.

Video conferencing is a vital GovTEAMS feature that has become crucial for GovTEAMS members who were forced to work from home. APS staff now typically conduct over 40,000 video and audio conference calls per month in GovTEAMS.

Department of Finance

Payment Utility

Initiative

Building sustainable payment platforms to use across government

Benefit

The reuse capability of Services Australia’s Payment Utility platform means that different payments can be delivered quickly and efficiently on behalf of State, Territory or Federal government. 

Summary 

Services Australia has built a new centralised payment platform called the Payment Utility, which provides government with the flexibility to deliver same day payments. It can also be used to deliver payments on behalf of State and Territory governments. The reuse benefits of the platform were demonstrated earlier this year as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in Australia. Services Australia was able to use the platform to assist the ACT and Victorian governments deliver relief payments quickly. Services Australia successfully distributed Public Housing Lockdown Relief payments worth more than $1 million to 1,400 Melbourne public housing residents, with residents beginning to receive payments in just over four days from the time of the request by the Victorian Government. 

The platform will also enable more useful information to be provided with payments, reducing the need for customers to contact Services Australia to find out what the payment relates to. Services Australia intends to migrate all payments it delivers to the new platform, which will allow us to apply new and evolving industry payment functionality, such as faster payments, to all payments.

The Payment Utility platform allows Services Australia to deliver better outcomes to customers and supports broader government service delivery agility.

Services Australia